Small House of Everything

Small House of Everything

Saturday, June 29, 2019


Charleton Comics' Judomaster was created by Joe Gill (script) and Frank McLaughlin (art) for Special War Series #4 (November 1965), its final issue.  The character then went into a six-month Limbo.

In the time-honored tradition of never let a numbering sequence go to waste,  Charleton's original Six-Gun Heroes was retitled Gunmaster, which was then retitled Judomaster, beginning with issue #89.  This time Frank McLaughlin took over both the scripting and artwork and would continue to do so until issue #98 (December 1967).  Judomaster, along with most of Charleton's superhero lineup, ended up being sold to DC Comics, where he was killed by Bane in Infinite Crisis #7.  Judomaster was re-imagined in 2007 as a female, Sonia Sato by Gail Simone, who appeared in Birds of Prey #100.  She then began a brief stint with the Justice Society of America the following year  Although the character spoke perfectly good English in Birds of Prey, her language skills reverted to a clumsy and stilted English in Justice Society of Ameria.

Judomaster's sidekick in the Charleton comic was Tiger, who became first his instructor and then a villain (sometimes known as Avatar) in the DC comics.

Back to the original Judomaster.  He was World War II Sergeant Hadley "Rip" Jagger, who rescued the daughter of a Pacific island chieftain and was rewarded by being taught judo -- probably the last thing I would think of doing if my kid were rescued.  Somewhere along the way he also learned karate and jiu-jitso.

In Judomaster #89, Jagger faces his greatest challenge yet (not saying much -- this was his second outing) in Bonzo, The Mountain Storm, a giant Sumo wrestler.  Jagger has been ordered to infiltrate a Japanese prisoner camp and rescue Captain Brian Miller, who has information the Japs -- yes, "Japs" (even though the story was written in 1966, it takes place during WWII, remember?)

In a 36-page comic book, the story takes up only 20 of those pages.  The rest is ads, a one-page text story and a three-page feature on self-defense.  Ads were Charleton's friends

Have fun with this one.

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